Reading, PA – Shreeyash Palshikar, Ph.D., assistant professor of history at Albright College, has won a Fulbright-Nehru Academic and Professional Excellence Fellowship from the U.S. India Educational Foundation to do research in India over the next two summers.
For his project, “Vanishing Acts: Preserving the Dying Art of Traditional Indian Magic,” Palshikar will be researching the history of Indian magic through oral histories of the last remaining traditional Indian magicians and some of the modern magicians, as well as archival history of modern magic creation in India.
In addition to adding new material to his popular Albright College magic history class, this project builds on a 2003 Fulbright-Hays DDRA fellowship, for which Palshikar studied the formation of Indian linguistic states and analyzed media, identity politics and state formation around the breakup of Bombay state and formation of the states of Maharashtra and Gujarat (in the 1950s).
“Winning a Fulbright fellowship for a second time is a great honor,” said Palshikar. “I am grateful, humbled and excited to start work on this project documenting an important, popular and quickly dying performance tradition in India.”
Palshikar hopes to personally connect with performers in order to gain a greater understanding of the ways that modernity affects traditional performance forms in India.
“I want to record oral histories and performances of the last traditional street magicians, and find out how they are trying to adapt to rapid changes in global media.